APPLETON, Wis. – Lawrence University is close to reaching a level of endowment that would allow it to cover tuition and fees for students who can’t afford the school’s tuition.
Tuition for the 2018-19 academic year at the Appleton university will cost almost $58,000, Wisconsin Public Radio reported.
The university started a fundraising campaign in 2014 called “Full Speed to Full Need” with the goal of raising $85 million. The fund is currently at more than $74 million. University officials hope to reach the goal by next year.
“One of the motivations for us to start this campaign is we realized that students who have gaps in their financial aid were less likely to graduate. And that’s important to make sure we support every student and family so they can thrive academically and socially,” said Lawrence University President Mark Burstein.
The endowment has already helped more than 180 students, Lawrence officials said.
About 20 percent of the university’s students receive Pell Grants, a federal program for students with financial needs.
“The vast majority of our students get financial aid of one sort or another,” Burstein said. “So Lawrence has been a place for families of limited means that receive a transformative education. That’s been our history over 170 years.”
Such endowments are typically found at larger, more well-known schools.
“Lawrence is a well-respected private college and it’s reasonably selective, but it’s not an Ivy League or a multi-billion dollar endowment institution. Its got a modest endowment,” said Robert Kelchen, an assistant professor of higher education at Seton Hall University. “Doing this really stretches their finances. It’s a big commitment for Lawrence to do.”
Lawrence University is part of an organization known as the American Talent Initiative, which aims to help 50,000 low- and moderate-income students graduate by 2025.